For some, getting out into the woods is a great way to wind down, but for a photographer, it can offer many opportunities to get some magical and breathtaking shots. The contrast between lush green vegetation combined with the shadow and lines of the trees can make for enchanting photographs that contain depth and spark inspiration. Here, we take you through a guide to how to take sunning photographs in the woods.
Control your exposure
The forest can be dark, particularly if you’re visiting an area with a thick canopy. Working with the amount of natural light can be difficult, especially if you aren’t familiar with how to control your exposure.
Raising your ISO will help you to capture more of the scene, but this will also increase the noise within your shot. Using your flash will help you to brighten your subjects within your shot but if you’re taking scenic photos where you want to capture a lot of detail, you’ll have to work with your white balance in order to even things up. The best way to work is to try different settings in every scene until you find something that works.
One of the most eye-catching elements of composition is the use of frames. Being surrounded by trees offers you a natural way to frame your shots, and the leading lines they create will draw the eye and help you to present your subject in a natural, beautiful light.
Play around with the way you can use your camera and lenses to showcase the majestic nature of the woods whilst drawing focus to your subject. Even though the forest may be busy, it doesn’t mean that your shots need to be!
Add extra effects in post
While the woods themselves offer many ways to design and compose the perfect shot, there are a lot of effects you can add in your post-processing workflow that can bring out the mood and ambience that you can’t achieve with just your camera.
Using a workflow in your editing software package, such as one from Sleeklens Filter presets, can allow you to easily alter and modify the colors, contrast and exposure of your shots. This puts less pressure on you as the photographer, and allows you to produce professional quality photographs that will stand out in your portfolio.
Get creative with angles
Achieving an effective shot in the woods can be hard. Tall trees tower over you can finding a way to get them in shot without cutting part of it out of frame is almost impossible if you don’t get creative with your camera angle. One of the best ways to showcase the forest is to take your pictures from ground level, looking up. Don’t be afraid to get yourself dirty – remember, you can always wash your clothing but you may not get a second chance at getting the perfect shot. This way, you can showcase the grandness of the forest and capture everything you set out to.
Use the angle of the sun to your advantage
While light may be your primary concern when taking photos within a heavily wooded area, you can use the position of the sun to create amazing shots using completely natural lighting. Taking your photographs with the sun peeking through the trees is one of the most popular styles but getting it right can take some practice. To do this, head out at sunrise or sunset when the light is less harsh, and face your camera toward the sun to take your shot. Don’t let mist put you off as this can add seriously amazing effects to your shots as the light reflects off the particles in a natural way.
Taking your camera out to the woods is a great way to get beautiful scenic shots. Trees can offer you a lot of composition options and present unique opportunities to perfect your technique. Though this kind of landscape presents certain challenges when it comes to lighting, learning how to work with it can take your photography skills to the next level. Use this guide to challenge yourself to take on new and interesting photographic skills.